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Full text of "Verdict On India"

vi: BUILT ox

plain loudly if they aie jiski-d to do any wav work ; even hall1 an
hour at a canteen seemed to make them feel that they were being
crucified. There was a good deal of bitterness among the troops
in all the big cities because practically nothing was done for their
comfort. Ail occasional 'society' revue (in, which the quality of
the "society" was as questionable as the taste of their material)
was about the sum total of the efforts of the majority of the ladies
in Bombay and Calcutta.
HELP THE WAE EFFORT BY GOING RACIXG
Believe it or not, that is a headline which is splashed across the
Bombay newspapers every week. People corning from war-time
England, when they first saw that notice, found it difficult to
believe their eyes ; it seemed impossible that so atrocious a lapse
from taste could have been passed by any responsible Editor.
The Bombay race-course is seven miles from the centre of the city :
every Saturday during the season it is surrounded with a sea OL
expensive thirty-horse-power cars, burning petrol which has to
be brought thousands of miles through perilous seas. From these
cars step the English ladies of Bombay, smiling gaily, because
their hats are new and their consciences are clear. Are they not
* helping the war effort*? Does not the sum of two per cent  yes,
a whole two per cent  of the tote go to war charities ? What more
can a girl be expected to do on a hot Saturday afternoon, after a
whole week of dry martinis ?
I suggested to various members of the European Association
that such an advertisement was unspeakably vulgar, and that it
would be unthinkable in Britain, or indeed in any country that
had the remotest realization of being at war. I told them that ifc
was an insult to our Russian allies, and an affront to the men of
the merchant navy. They replied :
ftBut the Indians go to the races.   Why shouldn't we ? 5
4 At least we might try to set an example.'
'But it is helping the war effort/ they answered.
We left it at that. Bitter experience had proved that the
members of the Bombay European. Association are a collection ot*
liverish nobodies, sunk in suburban complacency, ignorant, petty,
and pretentious.